samantha liz

Archive of ‘everyday life’ category

Raising Litterateurs {aka… my kids LOVE books!}

Every time Autumn comes rolling in, I feel a need to evaluate our curricula. Seeing what is working for us, and what we’d rather do without, is a vital part of keeping our homeschooling not only educational, but fun. This year, we took a modified summer approach to our schooling, choosing one day a week to cover the “essentials”, we really were able to fully emerge in the topic of the day {my favorite being a tie between History Fridays and Nature Wednesdays}. Another thing that I discovered is that, although we chose to focus on just one topic each day, reading time every day was solidly carved into our lives and we would naturally gravitate towards ‘quiet time’ and story telling to one another, especially when the kids recieved a new book. These two realizations are what brings me to this post.

When I sat down to see what we loved day to day, and what the kids naturally gravitated to, the answer was clear… BOOKS. More more often than not? Usborne books. From our history lessons to our free reading time. When learning about how our body works to exploring the world atlas, the resources we reached for time and again was our Usborne books!

This massively awesome pile or reference books is just the ones we’ve used in the last week. So when it came time to order up some new resources for school time this August, when we started back at full schedule homeschooling, I decided not only to order, but to sign up to be a consultant myself. I cannot explain how exciting this all has been for everyone in my home. We cannot wait to share our favorite books and show you how we incorporate them into our day to day.  Be sure to follow along with me here and if you really want to get in on some fun specials and secret insider {think me being silly with all the kids on FB live} join my litterateur group on Facebook!

Christmas Card Outtakes

It’s that time of year again! The taking of photos and the making into cards.


Inevitably, some of those photos don’t end up making the cut. 3R3A8749-Edit-Edit

It’s always so hard to choose though, as {well I think} these kids just can’t take a bad photo!3R3A8827-Edit 

Here’s to this year’s outtakes.  I’m hoping by sharing them here, they get to spread a bit of happiness all the same. ❤️

Instant Download Patterns – Now Available on Etsy

Starting with my Crescent Moon Yoga Pants pattern, my entire Little Comet Tails Pattern line will be available on Etsy for instant download in the next coming weeks. They have all been refreshed, rewritten, and updated to make them easy to follow and pretty to look at. Speaking of pretty to look at, check out my store…

Etsy Store

I’m so excited to be releasing my PDF’s on Etsy. After all my current patterns are digitally available, I will start releasing some new patterns that I’ve been working on.  Stay tuned!

Editing lessons…

Thomas was hanging around with Colin and me while I took some product photos.  

 We got to talking about photography, and photo editing. Thomas asked why one would edit a photo, so we discussed how mood and feeling could be expressed through color and lighting. Then Thomas commissioned me to take some photos of him, to edit… 3R3A8543Off he went, returning with his lightsaber. I snapped a couple shots, then we uploaded them to my computer for some edits; Thomas style. 


Here’s what he came up with; complete with glowing saber and fire ball. What a fun little lesson we both had. ❤️ I just love watching this guy grow. 

Happy Halloween 2015

The whole gang is here.
The kids decided October 1st that they all wanted to be characters from Adventure Time, so off sewing I went!

Princess Bubblegum
Molly as Princess Bubblegum.

BMO Happy
Thomas as BMO. (BMO… HAPPY!)

Backpack ready
Marcus as Finn the Human.

This year, I decided to add knitting to my repertoire, because… well… bananas!
Finn the Human

Princess Bubblegum

In character


Happy Halloween!
Adventure Time

Mini Train Riding

By our house, there is this park.

The kids and I don’t go often enough, but every time we do we say, “We need to come here more often!”

There’s two huge playground areas, a sculpture garden, a swim beach, and even a train that circles around. 

Today? We rode that train. 

We bought our 75¢ tickets, and got them punched as we boarded. 😉 This time, we got in the red caboose in the back.  

Yup, Thomas…


   …and Colin. 

 Well, me and Colin {photo courtesy of Thomas}. I had to sit on the floor it was so tiny… And so fun!


If you can’t make it out over the squeaky-squeaks, there’s even a tunnel!


Marcus: We’re going in there!!

Molly: Oh my gosh, I can’t wait to go in the tunnel! Are you guys excited to go in the tunnel?

Me: There’s a tunnel?

Molly: Yup!

😉 We all had a great time, and I promised this time, we would go again very soon. 

Just another post {insert clever title here}

So, umm… Hi? I’ve always said that I want to blog more, and then life happens and I don’t. I was thinking about all the excuses I have for not doing it, and about how to convince myself to change my ways and just sit down and write, but let’s be honest, I’m just not that structured. So here’s me, starting up blogging again, maybe just maybe it will stick this time. 
Now, where should I begin…

When last I left you, our main bathroom looked roughly like this:  

If you were paying close enough attention (see my reflection in the mirror in the last post) I, at approximately the same time, looked something like this:  

Don’t ask what my toes looked like at that point, because frankly? I couldn’t see them for months.    

I kid… Lol… But back to me and the bathroom… Soon after that, May 19th to be exact, we both looked like this: {The hubby is in this too, beaming like the awesome daddy he is}


Colin Finn joined our {not so} little family in the wee hours of the night in the bathtub that I had specked out for just the occasion. The rest of the kids? In love.  

Here’s a couple more photos to fill in the gaps and catch you up to today:      


The days have been going by so quickly, I can’t believe this little guy is 3 months old already.       

 Oh yeah, in case you are wondering what the whole bathroom looks like, here’s a shot of that too, now that you are looking at pictures:  

Alright, alright. That’s enough catching up. 
Let’s pretend that I’ve been updating regularly for the past 5 or so months, and this was just another post about what we did today. 

Molly decided this past week that she wanted to go camping. So bright and early this morning they put up the tent in the backyard.   

Then off we went to the store to get some supplies. While we were there these two had to ride the 1¢ ponies. 


First, we had a proper picnic.   

Next, we roasted marshmallows by the fire.     
In case you were wondering, Thom, Colin and I all took part in the festivities as well.     

Once the sun set, they played around with the lantern in the yard a bit.  

Then, the kids all piled into the tent…  

Thom read them a story, and off to sleepy land they went.   
All’s quiet on the {little backyard} western front.  Nite-nite. 

Exploring biomes, literally.

I thought it would be fun for the kids to learn about biomes. It’s only February and we are well on our way to discovering them first hand.

In January we visited the Coniferous Forest of Crested Butte, CO and partook in the snowy fun of sledding.
Crested Butte Sledding Hill
Thom and Marcus

The kids {and Thom} had such a blast on this trip, that we thought why not explore another biome? So we packed up the car and headed to the desert. Joshua Tree National Park to be exact.
Hidden Valley Trail, Joshua Tree National Park

This time, I made up some nomenclature cards about desert life. {Which you can download in pdf form in 4 parts here: Part1, Part2, Part3, and Part4}
Desert Nomenclature
We brought them along with us on our hike of Hidden Valley Trail while the kids photographed them with their iPods.
Photographer Marcus

I brought along my camera too and managed to get a couple shots…
Rock Chilling, Molly Style

Rock Chilling, Thomas Style

…as did Thom.
Photo Op

The kids hiked the whole mile without a complaint and many a climbing opportunity detour.

It's high up here!

Rock Jumping

Molly even discovered where the fairies live in the desert, and happily showed me.
Secret garden

Fairies live in the desert too!

Well, that’s two down and so many more to explore… who knows where life will take us next? All I know is that this girl is up for the adventure.
Striking a pose.

Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

It snowed early this week, and it’s finally warmed up enough for the kids to happily play outside in it (yes, they are lightweights).
50/52/Portrait - Packing it in.

Of course I followed with my camera. Got a couple shots in, and then noticed something…
Frosty Impersonation

I had a flash of deja vu with this one.
50/52/Life - Let it Snow!

Circa 2006.

Not cool, universe. Not cool.

Letters to Santa

This morning, Elfie and Elva brought the kids some personalized paper and pencils to write up a letter to Santa.

They had such a blast writing and drawing and cutting out printouts of what they wanted to ask for.

Marcus, of course, needed my help with writing, but the sentiment is all his. He even traced his name on the bottom. <3 20131206-121601.jpg
Molly wrote her entire letter this year, asked for correct spelling (such a perfectionist), and just had to add her personal touch to the letter. <3 20131206-121611.jpg
Thomas blew me away with his letter. He didn’t want any help and wrote it 100% unassisted. I know that it’s not technically correct, but I love his spelling! It makes so much more sense than our silly english language. <3 Happy Christmas Days ahead! We have 18 days to go!!